HA NOI — The export pepper yield this year was forecast to fall due to unfavourable weather conditions, according to the Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Development.
|Farmers in the central province of Quang Tri havest pepper. The country is expected to export only 86,000 tonnes of pepper this year, down 30 per cent over last year due to unfavourable weather. — VNA/VNS Photo Ho Cau
"The total pepper exported this year may reach 86,000 tonnes, worth nearly US$619 million. These figures would be down by 30 per cent in volume and 16 per cent in value," the ministry said.
Head of the administrative office under the Viet Nam Pepper Association, Tran Duc Tung said bad weather had strongly affected crops, and many older plants had died.
Since 2001, Viet Nam has been the largest pepper producer and exporter in the world.
The ministry reported that in 2011, the country exported 125,000 tonnes of pepper, valued at $736 million. Although the year-on-year volume increased by only 7.2 per cent, the value surged by 74.6 per cent.
Demand for pepper has risen year-on-year in most markets.
Demand from Spain increased the most, at 270 per cent, earning the country's pepper industry $25.6 million in 2011.
Spain was followed by Singapore with growth of 231.4 per cent, worth more than $21 million. Other markets experiencing significant growth were Egypt at 212 per cent, the US at 158 per cent and India at 101 per cent.
Last year, the price of pepper climbed sharply in both the domestic and export markets, thanks to high demand and low supply.
The price of black pepper soared to a record high of VND161 million ($7,600) per tonne in September 2011, up by 116 per cent against the same period in 2010. The price of white pepper also soared by 99 per cent reaching VND197.5 million ($9,300) per tonne.
On average, the price of pepper last year was roughly $5,870 per tonne, up by 66.3 per cent over 2010.
However, since the beginning of this year the price has fallen by $800 per tonne.
"The domestic price is falling in line with the world market," the ministry said.
The ministry estimated that the price would continue to decline due to low demand. — VNS